Cromlech

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Not to be confused with Cromlêh.
A cromlech

Cromlech is a Brythonic word (Breton/Cornish/Welsh) used to describe prehistoric megalithic structures, where crom means "bent" or "curved" and llech means "slab" or "flagstone".[1] The term is now virtually obsolete in archaeology, but remains in use as a colloquial term for two different types of megalithic monument.

In English it usually refers to dolmens, the remains of prehistoric stone chamber tombs.[2] However, it is widely used in French and Spanish to describe stone circles. Confusingly, some English-speaking archaeologists, such as Aubrey Burl, use this second meaning for cromlech in English too.[3]

In addition, the term is occasionally used to describe more complex examples of megalithic architecture, such as the Almendres Cromlech in Portugal.[4]

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References[edit]

Chambered cairn (cromlech) at Dyffryn Ardudwy, Gwynedd, Wales
  1. ^ John Cleland (1768). Specimen of an etymological vocabulary, or Essay by means of the analitic method to retrieve the ancient celtic. pp. 133–134. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  2. ^ Anatoly Liberman (21 December 2009). A Bibliography of English Etymology: Sources and Word List. U of Minnesota Press. ISBN 978-0-8166-6772-7. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  3. ^ Aubrey Burl (28 February 2006). A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany: Second Edition. Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-11406-5. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 
  4. ^ Brian Haughton (19 March 2009). Haunted Spaces, Sacred Places: A Field Guide to Stone Circles, Crop Circles, Ancient Tombs, and Supernatural Landscapes: Easyread Super Large 20pt Edition. ReadHowYouWant.com. ISBN 978-1-4429-7123-3. Retrieved 3 August 2012. 

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